Home Inspection

Home Inspections Magnifying glass

The home inspection is one of the most important steps during the purchase process for both new constructions and old homes. Here are some reasons why:

  1. It helps reveal defects before they become serious problems — A quality inspection will reveal defects in the house that the seller doesn't want you to see. Once you sign on the dotted line, the previous owner has very limited liability for anything you didn't catch.
  2. It will help you make a final decision — Knowing that you may have to renovate or make repairs may be exciting, as it's an opportunity to get exactly what you want out of the house. However, some people do not want the hassel of construction in their new home, and knowing that before they've commit can be a life-saver.
  3. It will help you make an offer — In a buyer's market, knowing all deficiencies and the price of their repair will give you some leverage over the seller in terms of pricing.

An Interactive Home Inspection

Follow us on an interactive home inspection. Click the image below to begin.

What to be Aware of During Your Home Inspection

Home inspectors will look for many items not necessarily clear to the naked eye. Be sure to employ a recognized Canadian home inspector who has previously performed inspections in the area you are looking to buy in. The more experienced your home inspector is, specifically in finding plausible concerns that could be discovered in the particular area you are looking to purchase in, the better.

Upon completion of the home inspection you will be given a building inspection report that should convey to you conventions such as any major concerns, safety issues, repairs that need to be made urgently or in time, improvements, items to monitor, and deferred costs. Deferred costs refer to items that are close to, or have reached, their normal functional expectancy and will require repair or replacement sometime soon.

Remember that a home inspector cannot view the property in its entirety; especially dependent on the weather conditions you have your potential home inspected in. Home inspectors will usually require the potential buyers sign a waiver. Read over this paper carefully, and be sure that you are satisfied with the terms specified therein. Also clarify that your home inspector is available to answer calls, concerns and questions that should arise as you read over the building inspection report after the home inspection, and further deliberate your potential purchase.

See that your home inspector climbs on top of the roof, into the attic to observe for cracking and sufficient insulation, and in the basement crawl spaces to ensure there are adequate heating registers.

Have the home inspector explain items to you that you don't understand and ask lots of questions. Locate your outdoor water shut-off valves, your water metre, your breakers; turn every light on and off, check every vent, every window, every duct, etc. A home inspection should take more than an hour and roughly three on average.

In addition to a home inspection, a home appraisal will often be required if you are planning to use the property as a rental unit or are applying for a variable rate mortgage.A home appraisal is not the same as a tax appraisal, which is conducted by the city or town in which the property is located.

You can also do some of the homework on your property yourself. You can look at flood maps on city websites to be sure your location is not in a high flood risk area; look at the slope or grade of the property to see if its location increases the risk of water in the basement; and put an inquiry in with the municipal water services department to see if there have been sewage or water problems at the property before.

On municipal police services pages, you may observe the average crime rates in different neighbourhoods of the cities and compare. For instance, the Calgary Police Service offers a great crime mapping tool to view any reported criminal instances that have occurred in a Calgary community up to six months past.

No matter where the home or the condition, you can always expect small repairs and basic fixes in addition to cosmetic alterations you will want to make, such as new window treatments, paint, backsplash, countertops or cabinetry. As a rule, cosmetic changes are less costly and risky than major concerns with items such as the furnace, hot water tank, foundation or plumbing.

You should always be prepared to put in about one per cent of your home's value in fixes and upkeep every year. Remember, short cuts almost always lead to bigger expenditures down the road. Observe for smoke and mirrors, or homes that have been renovated to mask a larger problem, and purchase for practicality over aesthetics. You can always change the interior of your home to match your tastes, but you cannot change its location.

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Below is a listing of our most popular mortgage product inquiries made using our online mortgage application for all of Canada.

Mortgage Product Type Inquiries
Mortgage Pre-approval21.57%
First-time Home Buyer17.26%
New Purchase15.31%
Refinance/Consolidate Debt14.19%
No Money Down discontinued11.65%
Mortgage Renewal10.16%